The Man in the Middle: Peterborough (A)

We all know the last time we won away at Peterborough, and over the next few hours, you’re bound to be reminded of that.

One imagines Ryan Amoo has stopped burning now, smouldered and well and truly been put out, such is the amount of time that has passed since his brace got us three points at London Road. We know that if we could repeat the feat this weekend, then we could make it a very, very interesting final day indeed. Do I think we’ll go up automatically? No. Do I think we can beat Posh? Yes, but I’m not convinced we will.

If we are to, we may need a slice of luck, not unlike the one we got during our encounter earlier in the year. On that occasion, we drew 1-1 but could have snatched a win with a missed penalty and ten men facing us for much of the second half. On that occasion, we couldn’t force the win, but will we be faced with a referee we can rely on to make the big calls, should they arise?

Referee: JOHN BUSBY
Assistants: Joe Clark and Andrew Dallison
Fourth Official: David Rock

Current Morecambe boss Derek Adams once labelled John Busby the ‘worst referee’ to visit his former club, Plymouth, in a single season. Our own experiences are a little different though and I don’t think there’s too much for us to be concerned about. His very first game as a National League referee was the tie between us and Braintree back in 2015/16, where he sent off Mitch Brundle for them and awarded us a 73rd-minute penalty which handed us a 2-1 lead. Later in the season, he had an unfussy outing as we drew 1-1 with Welling at the Bank.

He went straight to the Football League in 2016/17, so his next appearance in a City game came as we went down 1-0 to Port Vale the week after our Wembley triumph, a game we lost fair and square with little complaint. He was also the official when Jason Shackell bagged a last-gasp winner at Macclesfield in the title-winning season, and again as we drew 1-1 with MK Dons last season.

John Busby – Credit Graham Burrell

This season, he has taken charge of a single City game, our 3-0 win against Crewe at the beginning of March. I don’t recall him having a good game, or a bad one, so I can’t really tell you too much more. I do know the last red card he flashed was to a Peterborough player, that being Ethan Hamilton in their 3-1 home defeat against Hull City. Mind you, he did give them a penalty in that game too, one of four he has awarded since November.

In his 26 outings this season, John Busby has awarded 62 yellow cards and six reds, which is about average. He also awards 24.15 fouls per game, which is on a par with Sam Purkiss and two more than Josh Smith, who took control of our game against Burton Albion.